Chopper deal: Parrikar to place facts in Parliament on May 4

Manohar Parrikar
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said he will place all facts along with the detailed chronology about the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal before Parliament on May 4.

"I will place the detailed chronology, giving facts about the chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. I will place the detailed chronology, giving how and when necessary clauses or provisions were relaxed to suit the company," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a function.

Read more from our special coverage on "CHOPPER DEAL"

"Those who received kickbacks will not leave behind the proof for us to prosecute them, but we will have to prove it (that kickbacks were received)," he said.

"It is for us to prove everything now. Since the issue would be placed in Parliament, I would not like to speak in detail to media," the Defence Minister further said.

"Why no action was taken against the company till 2014? Why was the company not blacklisted by then UPA government?" Parrikar questioned.

"I challenge the Congress to show the UPA government's order blacklisting the AgustaWestland company. Let them reply first why it was not banned. It was during our (NDA) government that we banned it," he said.

Parrikar had recently challenged the Congress to show the order by the UPA government confirming the blacklisting.

AgustaWestland was not blacklisted during the UPA rule, top Modi government sources had recently claimed, asserting it was the NDA dispensation which had put on hold all acquisition proposals with the VVIP chopper scam-tainted firm.

Parrikar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to lay foundation stone for a football ground in Panaji.

The deal for the choppers went off track in 2013 when Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, which owns AgustaWestland, for paying bribes to secure the deal.

An Italian court, which convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi, had reportedly described how the firm paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs 3,600 crore deal.

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